Zika Vaccines Work in Monkeys, Boosting Hopes for People | NBC4 Washington
Zika Virus Outbreak

Zika Virus Outbreak

Coverage of the spread of the Zika virus in the Americas

Zika Vaccines Work in Monkeys, Boosting Hopes for People

The experiment involved a traditional vaccine and two more cutting-edge ones



    In this Feb. 11, 2016, file photo of aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia.

    Three experimental Zika vaccines protected monkeys against infection from the virus, an encouraging sign as research moves into studies in people.

    The success in monkeys, which involved a traditional vaccine and two more cutting-edge ones, "brings us one step closer to a safe and effective Zika vaccine," said Dr. Dan Barouch of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "But of course, there's a lot more work to do."

    Otters, Bears, Giraffes Enjoy Halloween Treat at Oregon Zoo

    [NATL] Otters, Bears, Giraffes Enjoy Halloween Treat at Oregon Zoo
    Animals at the Oregon Zoo have been getting Halloween-themed treats, like stuffed jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins that keep the critters happy mentally and physically. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    Barouch and others reported the results in a paper released Thursday by the journal Science. One of the vaccines is expected to enter preliminary human studies this year.

    At least two other vaccines have reached that point already. Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced last week that it had injected its first participant. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases gave its first vaccine Tuesday. Both studies focus on assessing vaccine safety.

    Efforts to develop a vaccine began after a massive Zika outbreak last year in Brazil, which showed that infection of pregnant women can harm fetal brain development.

    In the monkey study, one vaccine followed the traditional approach, using a dead Zika virus to train the body for fighting off infection. It was injected into eight rhesus monkeys and followed by a booster shot a month later. A month after the booster, the monkeys got a dose of Zika virus.

    Superhero Window Washers Brighten Children's Day

    [NATL-DFW] Superhero Window Washers Brighten Children's Day
    Patients at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island were treated to a surprise visit Tuesday afternoon. A team of window washers dressed up like Captain America, Batman and Spider-Man brought smiles to the faces of young patients. All three heroes scaled the hospital's exterior right outside patients' room windows. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    None showed any sign of the virus in their blood for the week they were followed. In contrast, eight other monkeys that had gotten a sham vaccine became infected.

    That vaccine, developed at the Walter Reade Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, is expected to begin human testing in October.

    Bears Predict World Series Winner

    [NATL-DFW] Bears Predict World Series Winner
    Grizzly bears at the Cleveland Zoo have predicted the winner of the World Series. Two grizzly bears were presented with two pumpkins coated in jam. One pumpkin for the Cleveland Indians, the other for the Chicago Cubs. In the end both grizzlies chowed down on the same pumpkin choosing the Cleveland Indians to win. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    The other two vaccines, produced at Beth Israel and not yet scheduled for human studies, delivered only the DNA of a single virus gene. That spurred the monkeys' bodies to pump out a protein found in the Zika virus, which in turn gave their immune systems to attack on the full virus.

    The two vaccines completely protected a total of eight monkeys against infection.

    Yoga Pants Parade Protests Op-Ed in Rhode Island

    [NATL] Yoga Pants Parade Protests Op-Ed in Rhode Island
    Hundreds of people took to the streets in Barrington, Rhode Island this weekend to protest an op-ed written in the local newspaper that many found offensive. The letter, written by Alan Sorrentino, critiques older women who wear yoga pants in public, saying the clothing does not compliment a woman over 20 years-old. "This is way more than yoga pants. It is women fed up with the policing of our wardrobes," said parade organizer, Jamie Burke. Sorrentino claims that his op-ed was just a joke but many are calling his comments sexist. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016)

    The results "add some encouragement that this might work in humans," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the federal infectious disease institute, who was not involved in the study. The total protection is "good news," he said.

    Experts said it's impossible to know when a Zika vaccine will be approved for use.

    Adorable Twin Panda Cubs Feast on Special Cake

    [NATL-DFW] Cute Pandas Celebrate 100 Days
    Twin panda cubs in a zoo in southwest China have celebrated their first 100 days of life. They feasted on a specially made cake at a party of visitors. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016)

    "It's not going to be this year, for sure," Barouch said.

    Fauci said it might be early 2018 if not later.

    Infants, Parents Should Share Room: New Guidelines

    [NATL] Infants, Parents Should Share Room: New Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety
    The American Academy of Pediatrics has released updated guidelines for new parents on infant sleep safety. Experts say room sharing could reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half and recommend babies sleep in a crib or bassinet in the parent's bedroom for at least the first six months and up to age 1. (Published Monday, Oct. 24, 2016)